News Sales on Oxford Street in the run-up to Christmas reveal retailers' worries

Shop prices fell at their fastest rate on record in December, in a sign of intense competition on the high street over the crucial Christmas trading period.

Market Report: China news caps off a decidedly sober start to the year

They say that when the US sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. The same could easily said about China, which yesterday spooked global markets by publishing disappointing economic data.

House of Fraser eyes July float if Lafayette talks fail

House of Fraser could float on the stock market as soon as July, if exclusive talks with French department store Galeries Lafayette collapse.

Tom Hodgkinson: Who arrives at the door when the pig has been killed? The Methodist minister

When watching television with my children, I attempt  to keep up a stream of anti-consumerist propaganda. “The sole purpose of ITV,” I tell them, “is to sell advertising space to brands and make money for the owners.”

The 10 best Christmas jumpers

Subtle they're not, but these bright and bold festive pullovers will get you and your family (and maybe even the dog) in the Christmas spirit

<p><strong>1. Hobbs Alana Court</strong></p>
<p>Walk into any shoe shop in the country and you’re bound to see a
pair of leopard print heels, but this Italian pair is particularly gorgeous.
With a soft point, traditional d’Orsay design and a mid-heel, they will set off
your little black dress a treat.</p>
<p>£127.20, <a href=hobbs.co.uk

" title="

1. Hobbs Alana Court

Walk into any shoe shop in the country and you’re bound to see a pair of leopard print heels, but this Italian pair is particularly gorgeous. With a soft point, traditional d’Orsay design and a mid-heel, they will set off your little black dress a treat.

£127.20, hobbs.co.uk

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Stepping out: 10 best party shoes for Christmas

You've got your Christmas party outfit sorted, but what about your shoes? We've got fancy footwear covered.

Savings wonderland: Christmas shoppers now have the gift of cashback

Play your cards right and save cash at Christmas

Making good use of your plastic, department store loyalty schemes and online offers could add to your festive cheer, says Chiara Cavaglieri

No pound signs: The John Lewis television ad is cuddly, cosy and ruthlessly efficient

The buzz around the new Christmas John Lewis advert is justified

This is not only the result of brilliant PR, but of a consistently excellent approach to its advertising

The Fashion Audit: Cashmere cosy / Fright night / Juice shot

What we love, we're not sure about, we're buying and can't wait for...

The Fashion Audit: Juliet's jewels, all tied up and designer duds

What we love, we're not sure about, we're buying and can't wait for...

DB Apparel, maker of the Shock Absorber range famously advertised by Anna Kournikova with the tag-line 'only the ball should bounce', has been accused of breaching anti-competition laws with three major department stores

OFT accuses retail giants of fixing price of sports bras

John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser have been accused of price fixing Britain’s most popular sports bras by the Office of Fair Trading following a year-long investigation.

John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser embroiled in sports bra price fixing accusations

Office of Fair Trading accuses retailers of entering into illegal anti-competition deals with retailer of the Shock Absorber range, famously marketed in adverts with Anna Kournikova, from 2008 to 2011

Shorts, flip-flops and online keep Debenhams growing

Strong online sales made up for a fall in shoppers coming through Debenhams’ doors, according to the department store’s latest figures.

What the Sunday Papers said

The Independent on Sunday: Wetherspoon workers to  share £22m bonus bonanza

Google's new Nexus 7 tablet launches in UK at £199 for 16GB model

Only the Wi-Fi version is currently available at the moment, with either 16GB or 32GB of onboard memory

If you don’t live in a warehouse but hanker after the concrete walls this faux concrete wall mural might be just what you need. Surface View Concrete III mural, from £35/sq metre, <a>surfaceview.co.uk</a>

iStyle: Hard and fast, concrete design

The quickest way to update your home is to add concrete to the mix, and from lamps to flooring, the high street has it covered. By Trish Lorenz

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?